When planning an estate in Houston, the first thing that most people think about is preparing a will. However, there are other numerous things that must be considered to ensure that your loved ones’ futures are protected.
Given the list of accounts and documents that you have to evaluate, having an estate planning checklist assures you that you’re covering all ground. In addition, there are laws, limits, and government regulations that you have to adhere to when planning, so you may be best off working with an experienced Houston estate lawyer.
Before anything else, ensure that you understand your current financial situation. This will give you a clear understanding of your estate, as well as jumpstart other activities involved in the planning.
Remember, evaluating your finances is not a one-off activity. Your financial advisor should perform regular annual checks so that everything else works with the current figures.
A will is one of the most crucial documents in the estate planning process. Nobody likes to think about their last day on earth, but it’s also important to protect your family by putting your affairs in order.
The will dictates how your estate will be divided among your dependents, especially your spouse and children. Without this for your estate, the government will apply the state’s intestate succession laws to determine who gets what.
The power of an attorney allows you to appoint a trusted individual who’ll oversee your legal and financial affairs in case of death or incapacitation. Remember to choose someone who you have complete trust in, such as a close friend or spouse.
A medical power of attorney is also important and gives an agent the right to make your medical decisions when you no longer can. Remember to include HIPAA release forms, as well, so that the person you appoint can also have access to your medical records.
When preparing a will, only your probate estate is included in your shareable assets. (For advice on avoiding probate, speak with one of our attorneys.) Ensure that you evaluate the rest of your non-probate property and assets, too.
Things like retirement plans, bank accounts, and life insurance might not go on your will, so you have to make separate arrangements for them. Remember to compile important documents such as real estate property deeds and car titles, and finally, create a list of professionals who might be of help to your family in case of incapacitation or death.
Drafting your estate plan is neither a straightforward nor a one-day process, and it is likely to involve Texas state laws and other government regulations. The Curry Law Firm has estate planning lawyers with extensive experience and knowledge navigating these issues so that both your estate and loved ones remain in good hands.
To request a free consultation in Houston, call our law offices at 713-678-0013 or send us a message through our contact form.